Friday, August 21, 2009
Wait Listed by Jail-9
"California state and local officials already reeling from budget cuts and public-safety layoffs, are struggling with a federal order to release about 40,000 inmates to reduce prison overcrowding and bracing for the impact on their communities. State officials have said they will appeal the decision, but as a contingency are cobbling together proposals to comply with the order. At the same time, cash-strapped local governments in places such as Los Angeles and Fresno are grappling with how to monitor and support thousands of released inmates at a time of scaled-down police forces and underfunded social-services programs. ... California Attorney General Jerry Brown has said he plans to appeal to the US Supreme Court. ... It is unclear how officials will execute the court's decision. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said it is working on proposals to reduce the prison population, but those plans need to be approved by the legislature. If the state doesn't comply with the order, it could be held in contempt and fined. ... The department suggests deporting illegal-immigrant inmates and allowing some low-level offenders to serve the final year of their sentences under house arrest. In addition, the state would reduce sentences of inmates who complete prison rehabilitation programs. ... Some local governments say they are unsure how they will support new parolees and an influx to their county jails at a time when their own budgets have been hit by the recession and the state's financial woes", Bobby White and Ryan Knutson at the WSJ, 7 August 2009, link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124960115104312757.html.
The waiting list for jail keeps growing. Now is California's "Hour of Decision", as Billy Graham would say. Free the prisoners!